03 February 2010

Satanic Practices Sanctioned by Air Force Academy

OK, now that I have your attention, you will note in this story that the term "satanic" is not used. Instead, the happy-go-lucky terms of "pagan", "wiccan", and such are employed. However, the distinction is meaningless, as these practices are satanic in origin and end.

I can't see how a country makes itself more secure by allowing worship of demons, pond scum, and the like, or by allowing witchcraft in its military, but call me old fashioned.

And, if you think that outright Satanism would never be allowed in the military, know that our neighbors in Great Britain have specifically allowed this five years ago.

From
Yahoo.com:

Earth religions get worship area at AF Academy


By DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer

DENVER – The Air Force Academy has set aside an outdoor worship area for Pagans, Wiccans, Druids and other Earth-centered believers, school officials said Monday.

A double circle of stones atop a hill on the campus near Colorado Springs has been designated for the group, which previously met indoors.

"Being with nature and connecting with it is kind of the whole point," said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, who sponsors the group and describes himself as a Pagan. "It will dramatically improve that atmosphere, the mindset and the actual connection."

The stones were moved to the hilltop last year because erosion threatened to make them unstable in their previous location near the visitors center. Crews arranged them in two concentric circles because they thought it would be a pleasant place for cadets to relax, Longcrier said.

When Longcrier and academy chaplains were looking for an outdoor worship space, they discovered one already existed in the form of the circles.

Lt. Col. William Ziegler, one of the academy's chaplains, said designating the space is part of the school's effort to foster religious tolerance and to defend the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.

"It's about our commitment as airmen to protect freedom and defend freedom. To me this is a freedom thing," he said.

The school also has worship facilities for Protestant and Catholic Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists.

The academy superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, has made religious tolerance a priority. It became a concern in 2004 when a survey found many cadets had heard slurs or jokes about other religions and that some felt ostracized because they weren't religious.

Longcrier and Ziegler said they've heard no criticism of the new worship space but both noted its presence was just made public.

"Not to say that it's not coming, but so far we haven't had any real issues," Longcrier said.

He said 15 to 20 cadets have shown an interest in Earth-centered beliefs, and eight to 10 regularly attend Monday night meetings. Of those, six or seven are devout believers and the others are "searchers," Longcrier said.

The academy has about 4,000 cadets. The school is one of five U.S. service academies, including West Point and Annapolis. Cadets graduate as second lieutenants.

"Earth-centered" spirituality encompasses many beliefs, Longcrier said, many that recognize multiple gods and goddesses and observe holidays tied to the seasons.

Longcrier said he personally doesn't consider gods and goddesses to be actual beings but personifications of natural events that human ancestors wanted to put a face on.

"The goddess is symbolic of the Earth," Longcrier said. "Do I believe I'm worshipping this female entity living in the Earth or up in space somewhere? No. The symbolism is very important."

The group's meetings are usually devoted to mediation, lessons or ceremonies, he said.

Longcrier, who oversees laboratories in the academy's astronautics labs, said he has military designation as a "distinct faith group leader."

Anyone is welcome to visit the new worship site but it should be treated as a religious structure, he said. A formal dedication is planned in March.

7 comments:

Phoenix Blue said...

Okay, you're old-fashioned. :)

But seriously, this isn't about the government "supporting" or "sponsoring" Paganism; it's about the government supporting freedom of religion by accommodating the spiritual needs of all its servicemembers. Think of the alternative -- a government that dictates which religions are acceptable and which ones aren't, or a government that decides Catholics aren't Christian enough.

Besides, if we have folks who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect freedom of religion for all Americans, what's it really matter what religion they practice? Pagans are deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq, just like everyone else in the military, so let them have the circle.

thetimman said...

Phoenix Blue, your comment is fair enough. But I am not referring to whether a cadet could practice the religion of his choice, only the decision of the Air Force to provide pagan worship space "on site". A pagan--or a Catholic-- could cross the street to worship. So, I don't see it as a constitutional issue.

Also, consider, that a Catholic would see a satanist as engaging in activity designed to destroy his religion-- and vice versa. Does this implicate the free exercise clause?

In other words, the decision to allow worship X on campus is a political or administrative one, and not a constitutional one.

I realize this is a tempest in a teapot, perhaps, but take the example of the British warship satanist, linked in the post. I can tell you right now that I would never knowingly set sail on a ship where a satanist were allowed to conduct satanic worship with the blessing of the captain.

Phoenix Blue said...

By way of disclaimer, I'm stationed at the Air Force Academy, so I have an insider's perspective on the events leading up to the circle's dedication.

The Academy has a historic structure called the Cadet Chapel that can be seen from miles away. When it was first built, the Cadet Chapel only had a worship space for Protestants; the Catholic chapel and Jewish chapels came later. Buddhists have a small worship area inside, and Muslims have a prayer room.

The Academy may be unique in that it has these distinct areas because most of our cadets aren't allowed to "cross the street." Instead, the Academy's chaplains bring the mountain to Muhammed, so to speak.

As a noncommissioned officer in the United States Air Force, my priority is making sure my people are taken care of and able to do their job. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, it troubles me not whether my fellow Airmen worships 20 gods or no gods.

As a Pagan of 15 years, I concern myself with my own relationship with the Divine, which is between me and the Other and no one else -- similar to what Jesus himself proscribes in Matthew 6:6. Do I believe in the same God that Christians do? No, nor do I practice my faith in the same way -- but my life's goal is to make a positive difference in people's lives. And if one were to judge me by my fruits (Matthew 7:17-20), I should like to hope I would not be found wanting.

StGuyFawkes said...

Tim,

You are soooooo very limited in your thinking!

If the Air Force can learn to make brooms fly and lightning shoot from wands then our military budget will come to what you can buy with your credit card at Home Depot.

I see no reason not to outsource our national defense to Hogwarts?

TO this end I have composed a new Air Force Academy Song!

"They took a toad from the bog
And a bottle of smog
And shred of Old Glory too…

And mixed it for the men who
Proudly swear the U.S. Air Voo Doo.

And you can circle the moon too……"

just wondering said...

dont military people realize what circles are considered to be from the air? satanism is not religion, it is the anti religion, which seems to be the popular cult of the day.

Anonymous said...

You know friends (St. Guy Fawkes and the timman in particular), this is a Latin-Mass-type priest writing now, we really do need to be a bit more sophisticated if we are going to engage ecumenical topics. Satanism and paganism are by no means identical and interchangeable terms and therefore, paganism is not necessary anti-Catholicism (although certain forms of it are, indeed). As Americans we are committed to freedom of religion and separation of chuch and state, which is largely misinterpreted today to mean that Catholicism is to be treated with conempt and to have its every public appearance challenged at every turn, yet have neither the warrant nor in fact, should we have the desire, to sabotage these silly reactionaries (I suspect they're not really pagans at all, but are just angry with their mothers about something or other). We do, however, wish to make sure that our own people understand the emptiness of such practices so they we don;t lsoe them to those practices. In fact, it has long been my suspicion that this is what is at least partially behind the Vatican investigation of US convents right now: I listen to some nuns and I could swear they are pagans and not Christians, let alone members of the one, true, Catholic and apostolic Church. Better to put more energy into unmasking (and reporting to the authorities) incidents which cause you to suspect that Sister has lost her faith than to trouble these self-fashioned pagans with fussing over the appropriation of some space for them to navel gaze.

Anonymous said...

StGuyFawkes said,

Dear Anonymous Latin-Mass-type Priest,

Allow me to thank Phoenix-Blue for being one of the indespensible men and women who defend our country and allow me and my children to sleep at night. It's better to have a pagan who loves my country defend us than a Christian who does not.

My juvenile comments have little value except they do make one tiny point. With religious freedom one cannot logically know where it will end. Today's dispensation births tomorrows abomination. And tomorrow's abomination becomes domesticated as a poodle in your lap.

Thus, I ask, will we be able to to criticize female circumscision when it is argued before our courts as an essential religious practice.

I'm all for letting soldiers and flyers do whatever they can to find the transcendant if it helps them be better fighters.

But won't you admit that with the cornucopia of practices and beliefs now crowding our American land will we eventually have to add a square to the Religion question on the recruitment application. Besides

Religion:

Catholic ___
Protestant ___
Jewish ___
Moslem ___
Wicca ___
Other ___

We'll need to add,

Don't ask don't tell ____

Yours,

St. Guy